Debt limit: The House is expected to stage a clean vote on raising the nation’s debt limit by $2 trillion tonight. The vote’s imminent failure is expected to send a clear message to the White House about the unity of the Republican caucus before they meet with the president at the White House Wednesday. The only real drama will be to see how many Democrats cross party lines to vote with conservatives.
Palin: Reporters who treated Sarah Palin’s bus tour like a presidential campaign pretty much got what they deserved over Memorial Day weekend. While Palin did hit a number of stops in the metro Washington area, and was swarmed when she did stop, reporters were not told where she would be ahead of time. At one stop she told those present: “This isn’t a campaign bus. This is a bus to be able to express to America how much we appreciate our foundation and to invite more people to be interested in all that is good about America and to remind ourselves we don’t need to fundamentally transform America, we need to restore what’s good about America.”
Team Palin is directing all inquiries, from supporters and the press, to her SarahPAC website. The game plan seems to be to let the media gin up interest in the trip and then try to capture all that interest, and control the message, through the SarahPAC website. We’ll see how long the media dutifully plays their part.
Pawlenty: Tim Pawlenty still has not released a detailed plan for reforming Medicare, but he is telling Iowa voters that the key difference between his plan and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s plan, is that his plan would change the way providers are paid: “We will begin to move providers from getting paid not just for the volume of procedures they crank out, but whether people are actually getting healthier and getting better.”
Incidentally, that is the same difference between Ryancare and Obamacare.
Romney: It does not appear that Mitt Romney will be spending many resources on the Iowa straw poll this summer. When pressed on his plans to participate in the event at an Iowa stop this weekend, Romney said:
I’ll be here debating, I’ll be here being interviewed, I’ll be here speaking, and you’ll get to know me even better than you did last time. … As to which events we do and how much money we spend and how many trips we make, that’s something for the political people to figure out. … We’re going to do what we think is best calculated for me to become the nominee and for me to win the White House. Those of you who support my message are going to say that’s exactly the right thing to do.
Also on Friday, Romney reiterated his support for ethanol subsidies.
Perry: Texas Gov. Rick Perry briefly excited some Friday when he said he would “think about” a 2012 run. But by the end of the day his spokesman walked back the statement, insisting: “The governor has no intention of running for president.”
Illinois: The Democratic-controlled Illinois state Legislature released their planned congressional redistricting map, and Politico predicts the new lines to net Democrats 6 seats. The Washington Examiner‘s Michael Barone says it might even be 7:
My best guess at the moment is that an 11-8 Republican delegation will be transformed to an 11-7 Democratic delegation by this plan, a loss of 4 seats for Republicans and a gain of 3 for Democrats.
Politico also notes that of the 11 Illinois Republicans, only Reps. Peter Roskam and Aaron Schock are unlikely to face another House incumbent.